I love to be up at first light to watch the sunrise and be on my way, on one particular morning before Mather Pass amid frosty ground I came to a fast rushing creek that was too wide to rock hop and was void of a handy log to cross. After going up stream I saw two larger rocks and decided to cross there, my socks and shoes were already wet from the many crossings of the previous day and as I leapt my landing foot skidded on the ice cover rock and down I went into the creek, stuck literally between a rock and a hard place. I was like a dam squatting between the two rocks while the force of the water crept up my backpack. The pressure was trying to hold me down as I wedged sideways and finally was able to stand , chiding myself for such an idiot move , I'd bent my hiking pole, was wet from the thighs down and yet amazingly although the water had been racing across my back above my waist I was not wet there, between the length of my home-made Tyvek jacket and the protection of my pack, I was not wet over my waist.
After nearing the visible pass and navigating slowly to the top through many large patches of snow the northern slope was a much different story, very steep and apart from the first two switchbacks none were visible. I spotted tracks further down leading off into no mans land and decided to look for a way to follow them , thinking I could glissade down, I prepped myself on the ground leaning back on my pack and used both poles under one arm as a brake, it quickly became apparent that the slope I was headed down was not in the direction of the tracks but in fact headed for rocks. Thinking fast I worked out a plan to use my legs as a spring at impact, while trying to dig my poles into the ice to slow my descent I felt and heard a "snap" and knew the bent pole had succumbed and that I was not going to be able nor want to, climb up 500 feet and retrieve it . I landed safely and when I looked around to see how high up the pole bit was, I realized I had "Z" poles and it was still attached, hanging by the thread. All to be fixed later in the day with copious amounts of duct tape.